Sunday, December 23, 2007

back and leaving again

The Polar Express was amazing! I'll post pictures and write about it in detail soon. Now we're back and getting ready to leave to Texas. We're leaving today, so I'll wish everyone now a very happy Christmas! Have a great time, eat too much, laugh too much and most of all be near loved ones. Take care, all!

feeling: busy again
listening to: Alec talking and talking and talking and talking . . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

the polar express

Tomorrow we leave to take the kids on The Polar Express. Doesn't it look awesome? We've never been there before but this is what I know . . . Each Christmas season, the Grand Canyon Railway becomes The Polar Express. Everyone rides wearing pajamas and while you're on the train you get hot chocolate, cookies, listen to the story and sing carols. Then you arrive in "The North Pole" and Santa is there waiting. He boards the train and passes out bells to all the kids. The kids are going to LOVE it. Oh, and it's a surprise to them. They have no idea. We're telling them we're leaving to Texas.
Anyway, I'll be gone for a couple of days. I have to finish packing and I have to finish some other things before I leave. I'm still not done with my cards and haven't even started wrapping. I don't think I've ever sent cards out this late. Don't think I'm being a scrooge this season. I am very much into Christmas this year, I've just been slacking. I'll post pictures as soon as I can.
OMG! A high of 43 where we're going?!?!?!? We were at 71 here yesterday. Brrrrr!

Oh, I almost forgot. If any of you think you might want to come to Arizona and do this next year, reserve soon. All reservations are made about a year in advance. To make the reservation, call the number on the link, you have to know what day you want to ride the train, how many people, which package and they take the payment at that time. You have until March to cancel or make changes. From what I've heard, it's really worth it.

*Ani, this is near the place we were talking about in some recent emails. Remember where I told you they got all the snow?

feeling: busy/excited
listening to: morning news

Monday, December 17, 2007

now what?

Back in August, I wrote this post about how I was going to start reading the whole Harry Potter series. Well, I finished the books a little more than two weeks ago. I am really glad that I read them all consecutively like this. The only thing is that I was left wanting more. I feel like I was left hanging. There are soooo many questions that I have now. I've since read the interview given after the book and some of my questions were answered. For example what Harry, Ron and Hermione went on to do. Also, if Neville got married and to who (I was sure it was going to be Luna and instead it's Hannah). I guess I still have more questions, though.

- What happened to the Dursleys?
- Who did Teddy Lupin end up living with? His grandmother? Harry?
- What about Charlie Weasley? What happened with him?
- Who did Charlie, Percy and George marry if anyone?
- What became of the Malfoys?
- Did Harry, Ron and Hermione finish/graduate from Hogwarts?
- What about Hagrid?
- Who is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor?
- What happened to Seamus, Dean, Lee Jordan, Katie, Angelina, Oliver Wood, Ernie all the ones that aren't mentioned in the end.

I hope she reconsiders one day and writes a whole "reunion" book. I'm sure I'm not the only dork, er, person that wonders these things.
Ok, so Rodrigo says that I have completely turned into a Harry Potter dork. I don't think so, but here are his reasons. I started reading the series all over again. This time I'm writing down each character, place, etc. and making notes. The reason is that I totally want to have a Harry Potter birthday party for Alec next year. I want to have little "shops" like Olivanders for wands and Honeydukes for candies. So it's a good reason, right? I was also saying how I wished they had a Hogsmeade/Hogwarts/Daigon Alley Christmas village. I'd love that. Another thing is that I've noticed a whole lot of inconsistencies in the movies. Now that we watch the movies, I start telling Rodrigo how that isn't what happened and tell him how it should really be.
So, for those of you who have read them, what was your favorite book? Favorite movie so far? I really liked book 3 and book 6 (Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix) As for movie #3, the movie does not do Lupin justice at all. He was a much more important character than that. I also don't like how Filch the caretaker is made into a comical sort of character. I thought of him as mean. In the most recent movie, I don't like how there was no mention of Ron and Hermione becoming prefects and no mention of Ron in the quidditch team.
Alright, I guess that's enough for now. I could stay here discussing Harry like a huge dork all day.

feeling: dorky
listening to: some song from Against Me

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Brianna and the Bee

My daughter won her school spelling bee today. She'd won the classroom one not too long ago. The only other thing I have to say about this is that afterwards I couldn't leave the school because my head was soooooo big I couldn't fit through the doors.
She will be participating in the district spelling bee late next month. I took a look at the site with practice words and, uh, yikes! At age 8, I was picking my nose and learning how to tie my shoes (yes, I'm exaggerating) not learning how to spell percolate, insidious, trajectory or ambivalent. Aww, my baby.

feeling: super proud
listening to: The Bravery (Believe)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the elf story

Ooh! I just realized that I had promised to write about our elf and I completely forgot. Ok, here it is. . . . .

So, I was on websites looking for various Christmas decorations that I could make and such when I stumbled upon some little plush elves that were for sale. Next to them, there were some stories that people have shared about how they had the elf "arrive" at their home for the holiday season. Alright, so you have to know that right now is an amazing time with Brianna. She is still young enough to believe in Santa and elves and fairies and all that but she is old enough to know how to read, like and understand scavenger hunts and most importantly understand what is going on. So, I found a template for a letter from Santa. It basically says (not verbatim) . . . I'm sending you an elf to stay with your family until Christmas, he will watch you to make sure you're good, he will write reports to me, and he can be mischievous so things might be out of their place sometimes. I placed the letter, an elf passport (which I also found a template of online), a little notebook for the reports and some candy canes in a package. I put it next to our mailbox and put a bow on the mailbox. When Brianna read the letter she was really excited. I didn't buy the little stuffed elf but she really believes that there is an elf in the house. She was running around looking for signs of him and concluded that he is in the attic (because Rodrigo hadn't closed the attic door properly). So now I leave signs of elvish mischief right before I go to bed. So far, we've placed the sofa cushions on the stairs, placed random kitchen objects on Brianna's dresser, put some towels in the middle of the hall, emptied some of her sock drawer onto her carpet, you know, just random things. Oh, I'm also writing the elf reports and leaving the notebook in various places like under the tree and on the top of the washer. What I've done is made a sort of points system where the elf takes the things the kids have done during the day and either adds or deducts points. What takes me long is trying to write in the elf print I'm faking to make my writing unrecognizable.
My mom thinks it's hilarious and that the kids will one day need therapy because they're having to walk on eggshells since an elf is watching them. Rodrigo goes along with it but is being funny by saying dumb things like that he's going to call animal control. Alec couldn't care less. All he wants to hear about is Santa. Brianna is the one who is taking this very seriously. She even leaves little treats out in the night (which I put away after she goes to bed and am required to leave a little thank you napkin). I think it's cute, no?

feeling: COLD!
listening to: Katharine McPhee (O Come All Ye Faithful)

Monday, December 10, 2007

my health scare

I don't know if you all have noticed that I have not really been in a bloggy mood in the last few months. Well, I had a lot of things on my mind. Yes, I've been busy, but mostly, I've been trying to keep myself busy. I have been having a pain on the side of my left breast. It started off mildly off and on then progressed more and more until finally it hurt every single day. I've been soooooo freaked out just thinking the worst possible news. I knew I had to have it checked out but I was also scared to do. I couldn't bear to imagine hearing THE diagnosis. I mean, when it comes to anything going on with your breast, I think automatically everyone freaks out and imagines the worst. I wanted to write about it here and then at the same time I didn't. I was embarrassed at how some people face difficult situations with grace and here I was crying for everything. I was so sure in my mind that I would have to have my breasts removed. I would go through periods of uncontrolled crying and or lashing out at poor Rodrigo for no apparent reason. I was accusing him of not caring about me, not caring about what was wrong with me when really all he kept saying was that I needed to go get checked out. I would think about the kids, how they were too young to understand this. I would go through completely vain and selfish thoughts about my hair and how would my would dresses fit me. Horribly shallow, really.
I hadn't told anyone other than Rodrigo, not even my mom, no one. You guys can't believe the torture this has been. Most of it brought on by me psychologically, of course, but nonetheless horrible. So I finally couldn't stand it anymore and I went to get checked out. It turns out that I have something called costochondritis. Basically, it is an inflammation of the cartilage that attaches the ribs to the breast bone. Having been expecting the worst, I could not believe it! I was soooooo happy and relieved. Two doctors have now confirmed it and I'm just on pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs. By this time, they could've told me that I had a conjoined twin that never fully developed and was on my chest causing pain and still would've been ecstatic. So now, I'm supposed to take it easy at least until the pain subsides. I'm not supposed to lift anything or strain the cartilage. I thought it would be a piece of cake but it's a lot harder than it sounds. I had never realized just how much I carry things and really lift and use my arms. I mean, I'm a mom, that's just part of everyday stuff. So, I guess rowing a boat is out of the question for now. I'm also not going to be coaching cheer for the winter or spring seasons. I feel like I'd been in a slump and now everything is new again. I feel like I'd been carrying around a huge burden that I no longer have. Ahhh....... It feels amazing. Yeah, I'm still in pain at times but it's very well welcomed.

feeling: super relieved
listening to: Alec telling me about Santa